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I Belong

Review: The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch

Title: The Magnolia League

Author: Katie Crouch

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Magnolia League (Book 1)

Publication Date: May 3, 2011

Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316078492 (LB Teen/Hachette)

ISBN-13: 978-0316078498 (LB Teen/Hachette)

Reviewed by: Michelle


When her free-spirited mother dies in a tragic accident, sixteen-year-old Alexandria Lee is forced to leave her West Coast home and move in with a wealthy grandmother she’s never known in Savannah, Georgia. By birth, Alex is a rightful if unwilling member of the Magnolia League-Savannah’s long-standing debutante society. But white gloves and silk gowns are a far cry from the vintage t-shirts and torn jeans shorts she’s used to.

Alex is the first in decades to question the Magnolia League’s intentions, yet even she becomes entangled in their seductive world. The members enjoy youth, beauty and power…but at what cost? As Alex discovers a pact between the Magnolias and the Buzzards, a legendary hoodoo family, she discovers secrets-some deadly-hidden beneath the glossy Southern veneer. 

Quick & Dirty: A great paranormal twist to the life of Southern Belles and the Savannah Magnolias.

Opening Sentence: You know what I hate? Sweet tea.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

In Savannah, Georgia, the women are polite, the young ladies are presented to society, and they all have afternoon tea. What you don’t know is that under the perfect and pristine, lies a little hoodoo. It shouldn’t matter what you do to put your best foot forward, does it, as long as you do it with the southern charm. For Alex Lee, that wasn’t the case.

Alex Lee had her version of the perfect life living with her mother in a California commune. Her mother was the only family that she’s ever known. They both extended their family on the commune, all working together to create a life unique enough for them. Alex’s perfect version of life came to a halt when her mother died. Through a lawyer, she soon found out that she had a grandmother, eager to join her life on the other side of the country.

And what a life it is. Being a Magnolia is not for the weak or faint of heart. There are sacrifices that only a Magnolia has experienced, and soon enough, Alex will as well. There are benefits to becoming a Magnolia. As a Magnolia, you are envied in every way imaginable. As a Magnolia, you can do whatever you want, look like perfection, and enjoy the spoils and riches that life has to offer, but at a price. Could she be a part of this society that her mother was a part of but worked hard to keep Alex out of? Will Alex continue fighting her grandmother to keep her individuality, her unique sense of style and personality? Or will Alex slowly succumb to becoming a perfect Magnolia of the south?

Crouch introduces the YA genre to traditional hoodoo magic derived from the south. What I like about this story is how it touches on the old tales of that region. The south is one of the oldest parts of this country, and I enjoyed how Crouch brought me to a part of the fabulous society similar to a Georgia Peach. It was interesting how she mixed that aspect with the taboo of the same society.

What I enjoyed about Alex is how she represents everything that society today does to a young girl. Through the pressures from Alex’s grandmother and the other Magnolias, Alex not only discovers herself, but her mother and past as well. I could not put this book down. I loved this story! The characters are so enthralling. The back story, the plot…everything is amazing. I haven’t read a story I was this engrossed in a long time. There’s something about how Crouch’s story developed through the pages, being so different, but the style of writing was familiar.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone. You will soon fall in love with Alex and her quirky dreads. And who knows, you might have a little room in your heart for her grandmother as well. I simply cannot wait for the next book, and if you pick this up, I’m sure you will too.

Notable Scene:

“Miss Lee, what they see is what they get.”

My grandmother narrows her eyes. When she does that, they look black. It’s a very frightening effect, as if the pupils have taken over.

“All right,” she says. “If that’s how you’d like to play this.”

“Play what?”

“Oh you’ll see eventually, Alexandria. I’ll call you when they’re here.”

Her footsteps click down the hall and, as if by magic, suddenly disappear.

The Magnolia League Series:

1. The Magnolia League

2. The White Glove War

FTC Advisory: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers provided me with a copy of The Magnolia League.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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